one of the most predatory streets in Barcelona Because in order to open it in a motley city that required more and better connections to the port from the flourishing Eixample, it was necessary to demolish almost 300 buildings , including medieval palaces, some of which were rebuilt not far from there stone by stone.
About 10,000 people had to be relocated, in addition to the 85 streets and squares that disappeared to make room for this new artery that would end up being the most New York avenue in the Catalan capital. All this was done because the rulers considered it to bewhat the times demanded .
Well, 113 years after its inauguration in 1908 (50 years after Ildefons Cerdà drew it), the street has before it the task of responding to a new era. The project was already presented a year ago (the truth would be to say that the first sketch is at least 2008), but it has been reformulated with some details that the cyclists have not liked at all despite the government saying that there are consensus.
One of the objectives of the first Via Laietana was, apart from opening the sea to the city, to eradicate a complicated hive of streets and alleys as unsafe as they were unhealthy . The contemporary simile is served on a tray, because perhaps not the scab and filth that brought all kinds of pests, but the high levels of contamination allow us to compare both situations.
There the current municipal team is paid to justify this work and many others, such as those of Pere IV, the 21 green axes plan , Glòries or that of the Rambla when there is money . But there is a problem, which is a classic in Barcelona: the difficulty of satisfying people who move in such diverse ways in such a dense city.
The configuration of the road is as follows: two downhill lanes, one for shared public transport with bicycles next to the sidewalk and another for private vehicles, and two uphill, one for bus, taxi and residents’ cars and another for bicycles stuck to the pedestrian walkway.
The main novelty with respect to what was proposed in February 2020 is in the space reserved for bikes, since a year and a half ago a cycling lane was painted up in the middle of the road and the bikes went down the road for cars and motorcycles. The February 2020 proposal was as follows:
The sidewalks remain more or less as planned and will go from a width of 250 to 405 centimeters . In this way, going downhill the system already used in Creu Coberta is repeated, where the bus and the bike share asphalt. The city council says, without detailing, that in Sants it has worked and that encourages them to replicate the model, and that it is the “safest” option for bicycles.
On the way up, the bus will have to invade the bike lane to make the stops. A traffic light will stop bicyclists. All this, according to the Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Janet Sanz, has been projected from the most absolute consensus. “We have listened to the bike sector,” he said.
He denies, from the outset, that this project has the favor of the cycling community, among other things, because it is a “design thought so that there are accidents and we would never validate it .” “That the bus stops on the bike lane is a botch that blows up all the principles of cyclist safety,” he concludes.
He complains that they have been discussing the design of Via Laietana for more than 10 years and regrets that none of the latest proposals “has responded to those raised in the participatory process.”
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